The girls getting active in the photo above? Meet Jacq and Jennifer. We’re Team Fitness at WH. And we’re here to take you *deep* behind the scenes of our annual Fitness Awards, which is jam-packed with winners that represent the building blocks of our very own routines.
Making selections takes our entire family of editors, designers, and trusted trainers. We all have our own sweat preferences, live in different climates, have kids or maybe not, represent different body types, and are from unique backgrounds. Movement means something different to each of us—but we agree that sweat changes everything.
Lastly, we believe a holistic fitness routine goes beyond the gym time. Performing at your peak begins with the right apparel (a pair of NOBULL shoes helped our deputy art director, Christine, hit her deadlift PR). It requires fueling up, like our commerce editor Neha does with the vegan Tejari protein she swears by for her smoothies. It means having equipment that works as hard as you, like the Thule stroller that allows Jennifer to jog the neighborhood with her 15-month-old, Wylder. It involves measuring progress with tech that makes life trackable. It means recovering fully.
Fortify your fitness 360 degrees with these 100+ game changers. We’re right there sweating with you.
How We Chose Our Champs
As a team, we road-tested hundreds (and hundreds…and hundreds…) of products over the past year to help determine which standouts are truly exceptional for 2023. All of the gear, equipment, and activewear you’re about to go googly-eyed over have been tried and vetted by our editors and/or WH advisors we know and trust, who train with them firsthand or with clients. If a product still piqued our interest but we couldn’t test it for supply or logistical reasons, it had to be highly rated based on detailed and extensive customer reviews on multiple trusted retailers.
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A hardware-free waistband that doesn’t slip, squat-proof fabric, a smartphone pocket, *and* fun colorways—we’re here for all the impressive features. “You can tell these leggings were seriously made with the active woman in mind,” says Jacq.
A favorite of personal trainer Janeil Mason, this pair flatters the glutes thanks to the strategically placed middle seam, and they don’t ride up. Score!
Trainer and run coach Annie Cooper confirms these light bottoms live up to their name. They feature a drawstring and internal short layer for secure comfort, plus a hidden pocket for your necessities.
Best Gym Equipment
Still a super slim mirror, but now it levels up your at-home sweat thanks to partnerships with Dogpound, Y7 Yoga, AARMY, and more celeb-beloved studios. “The motivation factor alone helped me get back into a real workout routine in recent months,” says Jennifer.
This app’s extensive library, from Vinyasa to Ashtanga, Hatha, and restorative yoga, ensures your body and mind never get bored. It includes classes designed for developing skills, like handstands and more advanced poses, as well as stunning backdrops from around the world.
Best Outdoor And Sports Gear
Camping booties that are game-changing, says Kristin: “The key to sleeping outside in the colder months is keeping your extremities warm. These down booties have been saving my feet and allowing me to actually sleep because I’m toasty, and they’re lightweight enough that they’re not a big deal to carry along, even if you’re backpacking.”
The colors and design set each piece apart from typical cycling wear. But the jerseys are especially streamlined and made of sustainable merino wool for durability and thermoregulation. “I personally want all their gear for winter riding!” says Kristin.
The latest iteration of Apple’s Pods comes with a size XS rubber attachment to allow more users to find their perfect snug fit. “The noise-cancelling feature is incredible on flights, but the transparency mode is also handy when I’m walking or running and need to hear my surroundings,” Jacq says. Safety first!
Best Workout Fuel
Best Recovery Tools
Cozy up in a warm sweaty hug filled with wellness benefits you’ll feel from head to toe with no need to leave your home for relief. “I use mine almost nightly for 20 minutes with a guided meditation, and it’s heavenly—especially in cold months,” Jacq says.
Hair: Walton Nunez for See Management. Makeup: Todd Harris for Honey Artist. Manicure: Shirley Cheng for See Management.
Jacqueline Andriakos is the Executive Health & Fitness Director at Women’s Health, where she oversees all health and fitness content across WomensHealthMag.com and the print magazine. She has more than five years of experience writing and editing in the wellness space and has contributed to national publications including TIME, Self.com, Health, Real Simple, and People. Jacqueline is also certified in personal training by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
Jennifer Nied is the fitness editor at Women’s Health and has more than 10 years of experience in health and wellness journalism. She’s always out exploring—sweat-testing workouts and gear, hiking, snowboarding, running, and more—with her husband, daughter, and dog.